Foreign Aid To Outbreak-Prone Countries Must Focus On Regional Health Infrastructures, Not Specific Diseases

NOVA Next: Why Billions in Foreign Aid Failed to Prevent Ebola Outbreak
Sophie Harman, associate professor in international relations at Queen Mary University of London

“…Over the last year, aid from some of the world’s wealthiest donors has poured into the poor, hard-hit countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. But people should be asking another question — what money was offered to these countries before, not after, the [Ebola] outbreak? And with those dollars, might this epidemic have been prevented in the first place? … The Ebola outbreak should be a wake-up call to redirect our priorities to commit to invest money and expertise in regional health infrastructure rather than isolated systems [or diseases]. It’s a change that needs to happen, but it’s one that will requires a drastic shift in the way we approach global health and development.” This opinion piece is part of the “Next Outbreak” series, a collaboration between NOVA Next and the GroundTruth Project in association with WGBH Boston (10/21).